The Fish Counter

Guy cutting the fist down at Fairway by the Hudson down 133rd. His technique skilled. His ability to carry on a conversation better than any in the offices I have worked in. He can talk with anyone. The people who work not in front of computers are still the hearts of the world. I think that will be a trait of the main character. He does what he can not to work with computers. No. That is too much like preaching. It would be better if he came to that realization after working jobs with desks, then jobs where he serves the public.

When I think back at all the jobs I worked before I worked writing gigs – mostly waiting tables, hosting, cleaning dishes, sales, working in the back of a women’s clothing store, working at the coffee cart in front of Macy’s, even selling my book on the streets of New York – all of these had me interacting with people. It is the exchange of energy with people. That is what the main character is craving, even though he doesn’t know it. I have to find him a name at some point, but I think we, I, am figuring out how he is going to move.

That fish cutter at the counter, I could have talked to him forever. Amazing. The amount of humor in his tone was fulfilling. Most conversations are very light, but his was weighted with years of knowledge of his craft. I wonder if there was anything he wanted to do before cutting fish. There were times when I would ask people that, but then those characters that they would become what I wanted them to become instead of them just being them.

The way he cut the salmon really stuck with me. I am trying to put together enough courage to pull out a camera and take a picture of him at work, but then I would not have to describe what I wanted with words. There is that, but there is also the fear of doing so. I used to think I was being intrusive in doing this, but writing about them is just as intrusive. I will try as this moves on. Still, the theme is building that your job defines you – even what you do, so the main character does what he can to stop from being defined.


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